Mr. Rodriguez was 38-years-old. He slipped and fell on the floor of his house and was unable to get up. He was alone so his only recourse was to call 911. When the medics arrived, he told them he only needed to be helped back on his feet so he could get into bed. They refused to do this, however. They felt he was too disabled to be left in his home alone so they pulled out their large yellow tarp, specifically designed with handles for lifting and moving heavy people. They called the fire department for help and brought him to the emergency department. He had no medical complaint and did not want to be there.

He told me his sad story. Besides being morbidly obese, he had developed lymphedema of his right leg. It had gotten so large that he was only able to move back and forth between his bed and a chair. He had home care providers who came daily and even a doctor who visited him once a month. He had not been out of his house for years. He had been told there was nothing that could be done to fix his leg.

When I determined that he had not injured himself and was in no need of medical care, I made armaments for an ambulance to take him back home.

He gave me permission to take pictures of his leg to share with you.



For some perspective: here he is on the ED gurney, still on the yellow tarp they used to get him out of his house. His head is at the top of the gurney, covered with a sheet. His right forearm can be seen on on his right, sticking out from under the sheet. His good leg is on his left and is bent at the knee, hiked up around the right leg. Everything else you see is his right leg. You can see his right foot at the bottom.

photo again 2

Here is another view with the good leg on his left and everything else is his right leg. You can see that the tissue above his foot actually hangs down farther than his foot so would drag on the floor if he were standing.

I refer you to my favorite medical resource:


2 responses to “Lymphedema”

  1. Such a nice guy

  2. Wow! There isn’t a surgery to deal with this??

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